Far-Right Triumph In Dutch Polls

Geert Wilders on course to win power in the Netherlands
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 5, 2010 3:57 AM CST
Geert Wilders speaks to Columbia University students in New York last year .   (AP Photo/Stephen Chernin)

(Newser) – Anti-immigration, anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders is on course to become Holland's next prime minister after his party's unexpectedly strong showing in municipal elections this week. The Freedom Party only chose to compete in two cities and came in first in Almere and a close second in the Hague. Many now expect the far-right party to make a breakthrough in June's general election, the Independent reports.

Wilders, who is being prosecuted for inciting hatred for making a film that compares the Koran to Mein Kampf, benefited from the Netherlands' increasingly fragmented political landscape, the Financial Times notes. Wilders, at a victory party in Almere, said Muslims have nothing to fear "as long as they obey the law," although many residents found the victory chilling. "I don't normally wear a headscarf but I decided to today as a sign of protest," said one woman of Turkish origin.

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